27% Of UK Shoppers “Showroomed” Over Christmas

Christmas Online Retail eCommerce Consumer

The showrooming phenomenon continues to keep high-street retailers awake at night and there is reason for this: consumers are now visiting stores to look at a product they are interested in only to return home and buy the product from an online competitor. And it seems that the popularity of this practice is not likely to fade away soon given the large share of consumers involved in showrooming this Christmas, a new study revealed.

According to a poll from design company Foolproof among 1,000 UK consumers, 27% of shoppers used their mobile device while in a brick-and-mortar store to compare prices online in the run-up to Christmas. Around 44% of them ended up buying the product they were interested in from a rival, either online or offline, which was 22 percentage points more than the proportion of shoppers who did so back in 2012. Meanwhile, 16% of shoppers admitted that they visited a physical store just to examine a product they considered ordering online. What high-street brands can find reassuring is the fact that the majority (56%) of deals made by showroomers were with the same retailer, Retail Times reports.

The research also pointed to consumers’ increasing interest in click and collect options offered by retailers, mainly as a result of the convenience the service offers. During the Christmas period, around 20% of consumers used click and collect, with more wealthy shoppers emerging as 50% more likely to purchase an item online and then pick it up in-store than those running on lower incomes.

Showrooming is a practice that should not be overlooked by retailers and they need to invest resources to adjust their strategies to consumers’ new shopping behaviour, Peter Ballard from Foolproof comments. They are advised to build presence in the online space and integrate their digital and in-store offers towards creating a seamless experience for the shopper, he added.